Mulligatawny Soup


Mulligatawny Soup - paleo, no lentils, dary-free -- by Ashley of

Mulligatawny soup is sweet, savory, and spicy. It’s a creamy soup that also happens to have texture. Even though many people think that Mulligatawny soup is an Indian recipe, it’s actually not. Mulligatawny soup is an Anglo-Indian dish, meaning it has both Indian and English roots.

You might be wondering how that happened. I’ll tell you (obviously). Here’s the simplified version of Mulligatawny soup’s complicated past:

Mulligatawny soup started out as an Indian recipe. Mulligatawny is actually a Tamil word that means “pepper-water.” Like the description, this dish was a very thin and spicy lentil broth typically served overtop rice. Definitely a far cry from the thick and creamy version you might be accustomed to.

When Britain ruled over India (1858-1947), the British are said to have wanted a soup. There wasn’t really a concept of a “soup” course in India before this time, so Indian cooks/servants came up with a heartier version of their “pepper-water” to satisfy them.

While my Mulligatawny soup clearly isn’t authentic, because, what is authentic Mulligatawny soup? I can tell you this… my version of Mulligatawny soup is brilliant. It’s flavorful and exciting. It’s sweet and savory and spicy and comforting and all the things that a good soup should be. It’s thickened with vegetables – not lentils – and so it’s legume-free too, though you can always add red lentils to this if you’d like.

Mulligatawny Soup - paleo, no lentils, dary-free -- by Ashley of

This is one of the many delicious recipes in my eBook, South Asian Persuasion so if you’re looking for healthy paleo-friendly recipes with a lot of flavor then be sure to check it out!

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Soup

5 from 4 reviews
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  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1 celery rib diced
  • 1 small sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger minced
  • 1 to mato diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk canned and full-fat


  • Heat ghee in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sweet potato and apple to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and tomato. Mix well, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices, give the vegetables a stir, then pour in the broth.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes then allow the mixture to cool. Pour half of the mixture into a blender, puree then put this back into the pot.
  • Add the coconut milk, cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes, then serve.
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Alyssa says

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this for years now and LOVE it! It’s my GO-TO soup and it’s so cheap + easy! Thanks so much for this recipe.

  2. Sharon says

    5 stars
    How many people will it serve? Sorry, I am making this in school and I want to know the number of people it serves so that I can double the ingredient or something so.

  3. Melissa says

    I have enjoyed several of your recipes. Would you consider adding the number of servings to your recipes? Some of your recipes are enough, as is, for my family of 6, but others are not enough. It would be nice to have an idea in advance of trying the recipe for the first time. Thanks!

  4. Kathy says

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! A great soup for a cold winter night! I added the chicken like other commenters did. Question, though, I am wondering if it should have had peppers, from your description of it being a pepper-water soup?

    Thanks, and I love your recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Great to hear, Kathy!! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 And nope, no need for peppers! “Pepper water” is just the translation of the Tamil word “Mulligatawny”. Mulligatawny was originally a very thin lentil broth made with spices (black pepper, red chili pepper, etc). My recipe is based on the Anglo-Indian version of this soup, not the Tamil version. Hope that clears things up!

  5. Orsi says

    This. Is. So. Good!!!
    I added chicken and because of that, a bit more of the spices and it was sooooo good! So tasty, my husband and I loved it!
    I make something from your website or cookbook at least once a week, but more often two-three times. I can’t come back and say thank you for your amazing (and easy) recipes enough!

  6. Holly says

    Could I add chicken to this for a full meal? I used to make one pre Paleo that had chicken and rice. It was so good, but so many carbs, lol.

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